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Posted Monday, December 7, 2020 in Interesting Links

SymPy: What is Symbolic Computation?

I'm not really a math dude, so this is all new to me. Looks interesting though, might be a way for me to get into some higher-level math with the “training wheels” that a symbolic computation system might provide.

.NET 5.0

I started looking into the latest release of .net 5.0 which now combines both the .net framework and .net core sdks. Looks like, it's not the full unification that was planned, but pretty close.

There are a few sugary syntax additions that are pretty nice. What's especially nice is the new ability to export functions that can be called by native code in both linux and windows. Usually, it's native code that I want to call from my .net app, but this might open up a few solutions in the future.

Microsoft apologises for feature criticised as workplace surveillance

From the previous 365 link about their productivity features. I like the response here, even a bit surprised as I wonder what Microsoft's incentive would be to err on the side of the user? Purely ethical or does the average user have enough sway over the average company procurement process that Microsoft would make this move? Then again, maybe the feature isn't a known cash driver and it's not much of a big deal to drop.

Google illegally spied on workers before firing them, US labor board alleges

Thought this was a humorous followup to the Microsoft news. I believe some of this was well known and not too far off from letting your company take admin control over your phone or generally any microsoft product that's just an AD action away from giving up all your work data. The union-busting is more of the real story here I suppose.

The thing with google is that you have a company that is a lot more data analytics focused with features that bleed into what a normal user would consider private. For example, you have this gmail prioritization thing right? Well, for google to build some sort of super recommendation engine to power this, they'd probably train their models based off multiple users. In other words, read everyone's emails and partially leak that data through the recommendations of priority they make (“Important according to google magic” as it says). With security controls that follow some best practices, you'd probably not have any issues, but with some great email data feed coming into this “google magic” what's stopping the engineers from taking a peek at the feed? Bleeding edge complexities to achieve the “magic” to me is synonymous with not mature enough to be properly accountable.

Microsoft's shift from on-premise services to cloud services looks like they're already falling into the same “user is the product” trap that a lot of others are already in, but not far enough in that they can't stop ethical issues like the 365 surveillance.

CS140E: Embedded operating systems

No clue what school this is for, but there are some interesting materials and ideas in here for learning some embedded development.

Advent of Code 2020

It's that time of year again. I started doing this one again in c#. I skipped last years, but I plan on doing this one each day.